Maori AllBlacks to tour United Kingdom

Getty Images     31 Aug 2012     Getty Images

In confirming the November tour, New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) Chief Executive Steve Tew also announced that Highlanders Coach Jamie Joseph, and Assistant Coach Daryl Gibson had been reappointed to take up their second campaign with the Maori team.

The Maori All Blacks will play Aviva Premiership winners the Leicester Tigers at Welford Road Stadium on 13 November, before taking on a select Championship XV at Castle Park on 17 November followed by Canada at Oxford University on 23 November.

"Weare very excited that our re-named Maori All Blacks will assemble this year and showcase our unique brand of rugby to the northern hemisphere.

"The team last assembled in 2010 for the historic Centenary matches against England and Ireland, and this announcement confirms our commitment to a tour programme for the Maori All Blacks," he said.

The RFU Championship XV will be coached by Bedford Blues Coach Mike Rayer, and will comprise entirely of English Qualified Players, and will take place during a fallow week for the second tier clubs.

RFU Professional Rugby Director Rob Andrew said: "We are honored to be hosting the Maori All Blacks in November. The three fixtures will provide a broad spectrum of challenges for the touring side, with both tiers of professional rugby in England represented and an international side in Canada."

Rugby Canada's Chief Executive Graham Brown said that after a memorable Rugby World Cup campaign in New Zealand last year, they were excited their national team would play the Maori All Blacks.

"This is a wonderful opportunity for our team and one we were eager to take up.  With former All Black Kieran Crowley a key part of the team as Head Coach, this match will build on already strong links between Canada and New Zealand," he said.

Jamie Joseph said he was excited at the prospect of leading the Maori All Blacks.
"This is a fantastic opportunity for Maori players in New Zealand and in this year's Investec Super Rugby competition, and already in the ITM Cup, we have seen some great talent in action."

"I'm very proud of my own Maori heritage and I am looking forward to the privilege of coaching this team."


Maori All Blacks Schedule:

13 November, v Leicester Tigers, at Welford Road Stadium
17 November, v Championship Select XV, at Castle Park
23 November, v Canada, at Oxford University